Extreme sports films come in two flavors first there are the sport specific show off films and then there are the documentary like Ultimate X that show what extreme sports are about. Keep Your Eyes Open rides the line between these two types of films, it looks at six of the wildest sports out there by looking at the athletes. We get an understanding of what motivates them, how they got into it and we also get lots of footage of them doing what they do. Starring Marc Frank Montoya and Mike and Tina Basich (snowboardin…), Sunny Garcia and Andy and Bruce Irons (surfing), Eric Koston and Steve Berra (skateboarding), Seth Morrison (Skiing), Mat Hoffman (BMX) and Travis Pastrana (motocross) this is a well done film that holds your interest as you learn what really makes these people tick is the same as any Pro athlete and that is too be the best at what they do. There are also some very sobering moments in the film when we get to the subject of injuries, watching Matt Hoffman kiss his baby and his wife just before trying to break a record by hitting a quarter pipe at 60 miles an hour and then seeing if he can get 50 feet above a 42 foot quarter pipe, watching him crash and almost die shows that these are dangerous sports involving calculated risks that like any sport can go wrong.
The film is mainly shot on 35MM film and shown in a 1.85:1 widescreen format. Overall the image is very good with bright punchy colors and a nice clean crisp look to the film. There are a couple of shots that where obviously done with a video camera and not film and there is also a fair amount of grit and debris. Overall though the image is sharp and bright with just a few small issues. The menus are partially scored and animated; they can be a little difficult to navigate but overall are well done as well.
The audio on this disc is available in both a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and a 2.0 stereo mix. This film has two distinct feels to the audio we have a dialogue driven film with lots of interviews of the athletes then we also get a pumped up audio track of your typical rock, rap and trip–hop common to sports films when we see the athletes performing. Dialogue is well done and intelligible with no issues and fifty percent of the film is center channel only. When the music kicks in we get a good sounding 5.1 mix with the rears heavily favored and good amounts of bass. Overall the audio was what I expected from an extreme sports film.
To start the special features off we have a commentary with Tamra Davis the director of the film and Tina Basich one of the athletes that is well done and enjoyable offering some interesting incites into the film. Then we have extended interviews with Matt and Tina Basich, Sunny Garcia, Matt Hoffman, Marc Frank Montoya, Seth Morrison and Travis Pastrana that shows the strong relationship between these sports. Travis Pastrana and Seth Morrison say that a lot of their tricks are inspired by Matt Hoffman and Sunny Garcia is a motocross nut, so it is interesting to see how different sport scan come together. We also get a fairly pointless sound effects gallery (??) and trailers for Boat trip and Standing in the Shadows of Motown. Overall a decent package but nothing really outstanding.
Being a bit of a non-mainstream sports junkie I really enjoyed this film it offers a unique perspective on these sports and the athletes behind them that I don’t think has ever really been seen before. I would have liked to see the inclusions of mountain biking inot the film but, hey that’s just me. If you are into these sports then this is a well done enjoyable film you should own, if you are not it is still worth taking a look at for its unique perspective on these sports.
Special Features List
- Audio commentary
- Sound effects gallery